Angelonia is a wonderful plant that copes well with heat and flowers throughout the season, making it a great choice for flower beds and containers in the Florida summer garden.
Often called "summer snapdragon," angelonia produces numerous snapdragon-like flowers that come in white, pink, lavender, or purple, depending on the cultivar. Angelonia also makes a good cut flower, lasting for a long time and producing a pleasant grape-soda scent.
Angelface® Blue is one cultivar that has done well in field tests here in Florida. ‘Hilo Princess’ was named a 1998 Plant of the Year by the Florida Nursery Growers & Landscape Association. Other popular varieties include those in the Carita series and the AngelMist series.
For best performance, plant angelonia in late spring in a spot that receives full sun and has moist, well-drained soil. Once established, these plants can be quite drought-tolerant, especially if the soil is rich in organic material and a layer of mulch has been added.
Fertilize the plants with a light, monthly application of a 10-5-10 fertilizer or similar mix, but be careful not to overfertilize or the plants will produce more leaves and less flowers.
The plant will typically behave as a perennial in Florida, unless exposed to a cold winter. It is often problem-free, but can sometimes develop powdery mildew or suffer from aphid infestations.
By the end of the season, the plants should reach eighteen to twenty-four inches tall.
For more information on angelonia, contact your county Extension office.